Monday 11 December 2017

Ulster star Pollock forced to call time on short career

Ulster flanker David Pollock yesterday confirmed that he is to retire from rugby due to a hip injury which has plagued him for the past 18 months.

The 23-year-old made 45 appearances for the Irish province after initially signing a development contract in 2006.

Pollock also received five caps for the Ireland 'A' team and captained both Ireland U-19s and U-21s in their World Championships in 2006, before leading Ireland U-20s to a Six Nations Grand Slam success in 2007.

Pollock will return to full-time study at Queen's University.

"I have been advised I am no longer able to achieve the fitness required to play professional rugby," he said.

"Leading out Ulster in the Heineken Cup against Stade Francais in Paris was one of the proudest moments of my rugby career."

De Villiers tweaks Boks for English test

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has made two changes for Saturday's Test against England, following last week's 21-17 defeat by Scotland.

The Ulster scrum-half Ruan Pienaar has returned in place of Francois Hougaard and Pierre Spies takes over at No 8 from Ryan Kankowski, who drops out of the 22-man squad altogether.

De Villiers, under pressure following the Scotland defeat, insisted he had dismissed the idea of making wholesale changes.

"There is no panic. This team has all the ability we need, but what we all know is that we have to execute more accurately than we did against Scotland," he said.

"England have made good progress since they started their tour to Australia this year and will be full of confidence.

"A full Twickenham will ensure that this is the toughest Test of the tour for us."


Irish Independent

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